Modi remark: Rahul Gandhi's plea to stay conviction in defamation case rejected
India's Gujarat High Court today rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's plea to stay his conviction in a criminal defamation case for his controversial remark about the Modi surname.
The conviction in the case resulted in Rahul's disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha.
Justice Hemant Prachchhak of the Gujarat High Court said in his ruling that Rahul Gandhi "is seeking a stay on conviction on absolutely non-existent grounds. Stay on conviction is not a rule. As many as 10 cases are pending against [Gandhi]. It is needed to have purity in politics...Refusal to stay conviction would not in any way result in injustice to the applicant. There are no reasonable grounds to stay conviction. The conviction is just, proper and legal."
Justice Prachchhak had reserved his order on Rahul's stay plea on May 2.
The criminal defamation case against Rahul was filed over the remark "why all thieves have common Modi surname" made by him during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls campaign in Karnataka.
Alleging that Rahul's remark defamed the entire Modi community, BJP legislator and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a criminal defamation case against the former Congress president.
On March 23 this year, the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Surat (Gujarat) convicted and sentenced Rahul to two years imprisonment, following which he was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha. However, Rahul's sentence was suspended and he was also granted bail on the same day to enable him to move a higher court against the magistrate court ruling.
On April 3, Rahul approached the Surat Sessions Court challenging his conviction and seeking a stay on his conviction, which was rejected on April 20. However, Surat Sessions Court on April 3 granted bail to Rahul till disposal of his appeal.